Heavenly Mountain Resort

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Heavenly Mountain Resort
The gondola lift base in South Lake Tahoe
Location El Dorado-Toiyabe National Forests
El Dorado County, California / Douglas County, Nevada
Nearest city South Lake Tahoe, California
Coordinates 38°56′07″N 119°56′24″W / 38.9353°N 119.9400°W / 38.9353; -119.9400Coordinates: 38°56′07″N 119°56′24″W / 38.9353°N 119.9400°W / 38.9353; -119.9400
Vertical 3,812 ft (1,162 m)
Top elevation 10,067 ft (3,068 m)
Base elevation 6,255 ft (1,907 m)
Skiable area 4,800 acres (1,900 ha)
Runs 97 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 20% beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 45% intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 35% advanced
Longest run 5.5 mi (8.9 km) (Olympic downhill)
Lift system 30 total: 1 high speed gondola, 1 high speed aerial tram, 2 high speed six passenger chairs, 7 high speed quads, 1 quad, 5 triples, 3 doubles, 6 surface, 4 magic carpets
Lift capacity 52,000 passengers/hr
Terrain parks 3 Groove Park, Ante Up Park, High Roller Park
Snowfall 360 in (910 cm)
Snowmaking Yes
Night skiing No
Website www.SkiHeavenly.com

Heavenly Mountain Resort is a ski resort located on the California–Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe. It opened for business on December 15, 1955[1] and has 97 runs and 30 lifts that are spread between California and Nevada and four base facilities. The resort has 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) within its permit area, with approximately 33% currently developed for skiing, boasting the highest elevation of the Lake Tahoe area resorts with a peak elevation of 10,067 ft (3,068 m), and a peak lift-service elevation of 10,040 ft (3,060 m).

Since 2002, Heavenly has been owned by Vail Resorts, which also operates Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe and seven other ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin (Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Park City Resort (Canyons), Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Wilmot Mountain).

With an average of 360 in (910 cm) of snow annually, and one of America's largest snowmaking systems, their ski season usually runs from mid November to mid April.

Heavenly is notable as the resort where Congressman Sonny Bono died after hitting a tree on January 5, 1998.[2]

Master development plan[edit]

Under the recently approved 10-year Master Plan Amendment, Heavenly can continue to improve their resort with the replacement of fixed grip lifts with high speed detachables. The first of these, Olympic Express, debuted on December 23, 2007. Future lift upgrades include the upgrade of the Galaxy double chair to a new fixed-grip Doppelmayr Garaventa quad, the upgrade of the North Bowl triple chair to a high speed detachable quad, the replacement of the Patsy's and Groove triple chairs with a single high speed detachable quad, a high speed detachable lift to replace the Aerial Tram that will terminate at the future Powderbowl Lodge, the extension and conversion of the Mott Canyon double chair to a fixed grip quad that will terminate at the top of Dipper Express, the construction of a fixed grip quad between the base of Sky Express and the top of the Gondola, the reinstallation of the Wells Fargo chair, accessing abandoned terrain on the Nevada side, and the upgrading of Sky Express from a high speed detachable quad to a high speed detachable six-pack.

The Powderbowl Lodge, a 27,650 sq ft (2,569 m2) LEED certified building that will seat 950 people, the Sand Dunes Lodge on the ridge adjacent to the top of the Tamarack Express lift, a skier bridge from the top of the Gondola to Tamarack Express, the complete fleet of low-emission buses, and multiple other projects are currently planned.

The taxidermied bear in the California Bar was the last grizzly bear hunted in California.

Ski Lifts[edit]

The lifts built by Doppelmayr are the Big Easy, Canyon Express, Comet Express, Dipper Express, Gondola, Gunbarrel Express, Mott Canyon, Powderbowl Express, Sky Express, Stagecoach Express, and Tamarack Express. The lifts built by Yan are Boulder, First Ride, Groove, Patsy's, and The Ridge. SLI built the Galaxy, Olympic, and World Cup. The oldest is the World Cup, being built in 1969. Mott Canyon and Galaxy also close relatively early, thus their trails are closed too. Mainly high-speed quads make up the resort. The longest is the Gondola by a longshot. Only two six-packs are present, the Tamarack and Powderbowl. Each lift closes at 4:00 PM except Mott and Galaxy, which close at 3:30 PM. The Yan and SLI double lifts have a very similar appearance in chairs to lines, to terminals, to bull wheels but only the bull wheels are different.


  1. ^ tahoedailytribune.com http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/50-years-of-heavenly-a-chronicle-of-skiers-dreams-and-change-on-the-south-shore/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Sonny Bono killed in skiing accident". Cable News Network (CNN). January 6, 1998. Retrieved 6 December 2010.

External links[edit]

Media related to Heavenly Mountain Resort at Wikimedia Commons